Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) has stumbled upon a potentially significant opportunity making face masks during the pandemic. Adjusted sales increased by 5.9% in the second quarter, while adjusted earnings per share jumped 58%. 

Management announced it would start making face masks earlier this year, and by July 2, Hanesbrands had produced more than 450 million. During the second-quarter conference call on July 30, management said that the new personal protective equipment (PPE) business generated $752 million in revenue during the quarter. 

A hand drawing an upward pointing red line on a graph.

Image source: Getty Images.

What management had to say

Sales of PPE face masks will moderate in the second half, but management still expects this new endeavor to generate another $150 million this year. For perspective, Hanesbrands generated total revenue of $1.7 billion in the second quarter.

"Looking forward, we continue to believe this consumer product line represents a meaningful ongoing business opportunity," said CEO Gerald Evans during the call. Evans retired on Aug. 3 and was succeeded by Stephen Bratspies. 

The stock price has been drifting higher in recent months, nearly doubling off recent lows. But the shares still offer plenty of value based on their relatively low forward P/E of 10.9 times analysts' earnings estimates, while also offering an above-average dividend yield of 3.8%.